The Illinois Fighting Illini football team finished their season without much fight on Saturday after losing 50-14 to the Northwestern Wildcats. The loss left the Illini 0-8 in Big Ten conference play (2-10 overall) with little positive momentum for first-year coach Tim Beckman to build on in the offseason.
According to freshman running back Josh Ferguson, morale among the players in the locker room was at an "all-time low" following the loss to Northwestern. Ferguson and his teammates, including junior quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase have nowhere to go but up as they return with Beckman next season.
The post-game feelings in the Illini locker room should be enough to fuel Beckman and his returning players to work throughout the offseason to raise the expectations for the Illinois football program.
Beckman took over the program after Ron Zook was fired following six straight losses to close out the Big Ten schedule last season. Unfortunately, the results on the field failed to improve this season.
The loss to Northwestern was the fifth time this season that Illinois gave up at least 40 points in a loss and the third time giving up at least 50 points.